Well here it is, the new Astra 2.0T GTC. This particular model having great interest because the Astra 'H' VXR has been the cause of disgruntled debate over recent years.
Sadly the Astra 'H' VXR was a bit of a disaster with its flailing gearbox, not so robust motor, and other number of shortcomings that made its personality present in Tesco Car Parks across Great Britain. Now we have a successor, and with a big smile I have been handed the keys!
So.. away with the 911 and in with the Darryl! Darryl is the owner who was kind enough to visit me on a Sunday, to let me have a drive and give a my opinion of his motor. This vehicle was bought from Revitupuk - and as I climb into the cabin you can tell this is another special car that has been hand picked by Mark for his appreciating customer base. The car is like new! It is immaculate!
First thoughts aside, we headed through the City of Chester to get a few photographs and I even used my Wax and Away 'Diamond Detailer Pro' to demonstrate how great a product it is! Anybody interested in the Wax and Away products will find a link at the end of this review. It really is a great product and I use it on my cars religiously.
I thought we would get through the review before suggesting a drive to Liverpool. The burgeoning demand to drive there was actually from my stomach in the form of hunger, and the mention of Nandos was applauded by Darryl which pleased both of my personalities at once. This is going to be another great day being 'me'.
To get some more photographs we headed to the Revitupuk Showroom. Very close to Sandycroft is the 'Saltney Ferryschleife' which is my newly appointed version of Germany's incredibly famous Nurburgring (Nordschleife) that I have become anashamadely addicted to during the summer of 2016. The 'Saltney Ferryschleife' is a beautiful twist of road, mixed with a couple of roundabouts and a short bridge that doesn't make your ears pop, but the compression.. actually there is no compression. That aside it is very fun bit of tarmac for what it is!
I didn't go too hard in this car, but it is evident this is an incredibly capable vehicle with some insane grip! I tend to work a lot harder on corners but think my hunger is beginning to overwhelming me. Whatever the cause - it is better to be safe than sorry when driving so I will take it easy after the Schleife ;-)
Very nimble indeed. It is actually the first FWD vehicle that DOESN'T wheelspin relentlessly, causing unneccessary tyre wear and alerting the plod who have already noticed my thrilled expressions when passing at ungodly hours on a Sunday.
I remapped this engine for more power a few months ago for Darryl at Revitupuk. Without the tuning it is a bit flat across the RPM range in standard form. These cars are sold with having 280hp but many tests in stock form show power output around 260-265hp but that isn't a problem. Tyres play an important role in Rolling Road testing so do not be put off by whatever figure you see. What is important is the 'difference' in power both before and after the tuning - as a definite comparison to the work carried out.
I think this car looks the part. I am very into the Black as opposed to the Arden Blue that has worn its name thin, causing me to pinch my nasal whilst keeping my eyes closed for typing it just now. People need to grow up and just say Blue or Black or Red - I really do not need to hear the exact colour code of their Arctic White 'No Frills' Stage 2 piece of excrement. Moving on..
I love the lines on this car. I fancy the Spoiler - always have on a hatchback, and I think the car is great. I could happily own this and be happy, and that is what good motoring is about. It looks great and I don't see its image going out of fashion any time soon.
Very well pronounced and not a big torque 'shove' of insanity that the previous model is famous for. This motor demonstrates a newer Delco ECU which I may not be particularly fond of, but the way it models the Engine leaves a nice taste about it. I am particularly impressed with the power lower down the RPM range; maybe it is the large 20" Alloy Wheels that keep the power on the road. That is a very high possibility!
When I press the throttle I get a response. I always drive FWD cars without Traction Control and in the most aggressive 'VXR' mode available, but not once did I wheelspin, and that is what would make this car a very FAST motor for The Nurburgring. I strongly urge Darryl to visit Germany in 2017 !
Not very loud, but not so quiet that you cannot hear it either. This exhaust is probably one of the best factory setups because it doesn't drown you around town or when cruising. The minute you open the taps it is a completely different animal and I love it!
If I owned this car I would not modify the exhaust at all. It makes all the right noises, and although more 'spool' is available with a larger downpipe and decat - I would advise buying a more powerful car if more power is your aim. Our cars are fast and LEGAL. We like it this way.
What a great car! I have just had another amazing day with a well-spirited car enthusiast. I will say a quick thank you to Darryl for the loan of his vehicle, and for visiting Liverpool with me for some much needed grub. We do keep in touch on Facebook so will probably get another weekend drive before winter sets in fully. This car isn't for the faint hearted - I would suggest doing extra driver training if you aren't used to high powered cars, as it is very easy to crash something without the neccessary competence. Always take extra care when driving high powered cars, I say this to everybody.
I would definitely recommend the Astra 'J' GTC to anybody looking for a quality hot hatch, and compared to the Focus RS I would rather this because it is less 'lairy' and will save me on tyre replacement after giving it a hiding on some Welsh Roads ;-)
If you are using a Mobile Device there are more photographs if you continue to scroll down.
Nicholas Lawrence //ON CARS
email -> email@example.com
Sports Car Sales -> revitupuk.com
Wax and Away -> waxandaway.co.uk